WP: Lance Lynn (2-1)
LP: Carlos Torres (0-2)
SV: Seung Hwan Oh (4)
HR: Aledmys Diaz (4)
You don’t have to be perfect to beat the Cardinals. Their losing record reflects that. However, you can’t make some bad mistakes either. The Brewers did that tonight, and as a result, the Cardinals were able to take this one 4-1.
It started ugly when Greg Garcia led off the game with a ground-rule double to left field that Ryan Braun lost in the sun. Garcia would move to third on Jose Martinez’s groundout, and Jedd Gyorko was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and third. However, Stephen Piscotty popped out to end the threat with no runs scoring.
Meanwhile, the Brewers had a chance to deal a big blow to Cardinals starter Lance Lynn right away. Jonathan Villar hit an infield single, and Eric Thames walked to put runners at first and second with no outs. After a Ryan Braun line out, Travis Shaw doubled to drive in Villar and make it a 1-0 game. Unfortunately, a strikeout by Domingo Santana and a groundout from Jett Bandy stranded the two at second and third, but the Brewers did have the lead.
The Cardinals would get their leadoff hitter on base with a double in the next two innings, but both times he was left stranded and the game remained 1-0 going into the fourth. In that inning, Randal Grichuk hit a one out double to put a runner in scoring position. Kolten Wong hit a ball to left field, and Ryan Braun made an excellent play to get the out, then threw the ball back into the infield to try to double up Grichuk. Eric Thames, who was backing up the play, missed the ball and it ended up going to the stands. The runner was given two bases and scored to make it a 1-1 tie. Braun was charged with the error, but Thames should have knocked the ball down at a minimum.
Meanwhile, Lance Lynn kept the Brewers off the bases until the fifth inning. Keon Broxton led off the inning with a single, and Orlando Arcia followed him with a strikeout. With Chase Anderson batting, Keon Broxton went for the steal of second and got it, and a bad throw by Yadier Molina allowed Broxton to reach third. It was a great setup for the Brewers, but it would all be wiped away by what happened next. With two strikes, Anderson attempted to bunt and missed, striking out. Broxton ran on the pitch, and when Anderson missed the bunt, he was caught in a rundown and tagged out for a double play. It’s unclear why Anderson was bunting with two strikes, if it was a missed suicide squeeze or something like that, but the Brewers blew a chance and the score remained 1-1.
To his credit, Chase Anderson continued his strong start to the season with another strong start today. In six innings, he allowed no earned runs (just the one unearned on Braun’s error). He did allow six hits and a walk, but struck out six. It lowered his ERA to 1.13 on the season, and he did everything he could to keep the Brewers in this one.
His night ended after that on just 89 pitches, and Carlos Torres came in relief to try to keep it tied at 1-1. He wasn’t able to hold it for 1 batter, as Aledmys Diaz led off the inning with a solo home run to give the Cardinals a 2-1 lead. Torres would allow another hit to Jose Martinez, but left him stranded. The damage was done, though, and the Cardinals had the lead.
Jared Hughes pitched the eighth for the Brewers, and allowed a single to Molina and a double to Grichuk to put runners at second and third. Wong hit a ground ball to Villar, and Villar threw home to get Molina trying to score. On the replay, it appeared that Molina might have touched home plate before Bandy tagged him, but there was not enough evidence to overturn it and the call stood. A groundout by Matt Adams ended the eighth with the lead held at 2-1.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Brewers had their best chance of the night to break the Cardinals lead. With Brett Cecil pitching, Orlando Arcia led off with a single, and moved to third on groundouts from Jesus Aguilar and Jonathan Villar. A walk from Eric Thames and an intentional walk to Ryan Braun loaded the bases with two outs and Travis Shaw at the plate. Unfortunately, he hit a weak pop-up to the infield to end the inning and strand the bases loaded.
Oliver Drake came in for the ninth to try to keep it at 2-1. After striking out Garcia and getting a fly out from Martinez, Matt Carpenter singled. Jedd Gyorko followed that up with an RBI triple, and ended up scoring as well on a bad throw from right fielder Domingo Santana. After Stephen Piscotty walked, Drake got Molina out to end the inning, but the Cardinals lead was now 4-1.
Cardinals closer Seung Hwan Oh closed it out in the ninth, as Santana, Bandy, and pinch hitter Nick Franklin offered little resistance to Oh. The Cardinals finished up the game and won 4-1.
The Brewers had their chances to win tonight. Eric Thames went 0-1 but walked three times, Domingo Santana drew two walks, and the Brewers had 9 baserunners in the game. However, no one managed more than one hit, and the Brewers left six runners on bases and went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position. In addition, the Cardinals were able to capitalize on both of the Brewers throwing errors, as well as a few timely hits off of Torres and Drake.
The Brewers can still salvage a split in the series, but they’ll have to go through the Cardinals best starter so far this season, Mike Leake (0.84 ERA in 2017), to do it. The Brewers will send out Jimmy Nelson to counter, who is 0-7 against the Cardinals with a 7.34 ERA, allowing a .316 average to Cardinals hitters.
First pitch is at 1:10 pm, and the game will be on Fox Sports Wisconsin.